Inside the royal home
On Feb. 6, 1952, Queen Elizabeth II became Queen of Canada upon the death of her father King George VI. A year later, the great Pierre Berton penned a seven part series on the royal family in Maclean’s. Amid the atmosphere of dedicated duty that tradition demands, Berton describes the Queen’s “exhausting 16-hour work day on the strange job of being Queen.” In part five of this series, young Elizabeth recounts one drizzling November day.
Not my Canada
In this provocative Maclean’s essay, June Callwood, then vice-president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, asserts that the inherent goodness of Canadians is a myth. “What I believed all my life was Canada — a land somehow more noble than any other, more tolerant, brave, and even true, never existed at all except in my head,” she wrote in 1972.
Speaking of women
“That any change may bring personal inconvenience lies at the root of much of the opposition to all reform,” wrote Nellie McClung in this 1961 Maclean’s report. She was an instrumental figure in the fight for women’s suffrage, and won a hard-fought victory in Manitoba, where women won the right to vote on Jan. 28, 1916—a first among Canadian provinces.
In the spirit of the true north strong and free, this collection of eye-opening narratives travels back in time to the vast and spectacular landscapes across our country. In 1971, Mordecai Richler shared pages from his journal in Maclean’s on his travels from his hometown in Montreal to discover the West. In 1973, adventurer and author Farley Mowat wrote with profound outrage at the gradual devastation of Canada’s North by white civilization. Finally, a 1994 column asks: is it possible that we have become, in decades since the Group of Seven roamed the wilderness, a nation afraid of its scenery? Curated from the Maclean’s archives, these stories reveal how we can get in touch with our inner voyageur.
Maclean’s has been writing about this country’s most famous and important personalities for more than a century. This collection of stories looks back at intimate portraits of past prime ministers and their wives as they navigated Canada’s place in the world. Rewind to John Diefenbaker’s time at centre stage with his wife and political co-star, Olive Evangeline Diefenbaker, in 1957, or to a 1994 Maclean’s cover story on Aline Chrétien, who shunned publicity but had long served as her husband’s most trusted adviser. Former senior editor David Cobb reveals Margaret Trudeau as an endearing free spirit on the road to 24 Sussex, whether she was a political punch line or a paparazzi fixture.